Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (cont.)

How can I keep myself from getting PID?

You may not be able to prevent PID. It is not always caused by an STI. Sometimes, normal bacteria in your vagina can travel up to your reproductive organs and cause PID. But you can lower your risk of PID by not douching. You can also prevent STIs by not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:

  • Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Because a man does not need to ejaculate (come) to give or get STIs, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus. Other methods of birth control, such as birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, will not protect you from STIs.
  • Get tested. Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the testresults before you have sex.
  • Be monogamous. Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
  • Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk ofgetting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
  • Do not douche. Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protect you from infection. Douching may also raise your risk for PID by helping bacteria travel to other areas, like your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
  • Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
  • The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.

SOURCE: "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease." Updated August 31, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2015

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